Friday, August 5, 2011
The Internet is Killing my Brain
I'm writing this short post simply because I need to write it, to write something, to use words in a creative way, because the internet is killing my brain. I have recently noticed that my attention span has slipped below the threshold of a 4 year old's. I can think of something to say or look up, turn my chair around or open a new browser tab, and find that in that split second my mind has gone blank. Totally, irrecoverably blank. Many times my brain feels fuzzy and dull inside my head. I recall feeling this way occasionally when I was writing my thesis from info overload, or from working on the same thing too long, but it's never been accompanied by dementia-like memory loss.
It seems clear to me that spending too much time on the internet is a bad thing. I happen to have time, often, to hang out on the internet when I'm at work. Even when it's for legitimate project-related research spending time reading things on the internet gives a different feeling than, say, looking at books from a library like I did in previous research endeavours. Despite the fact that I like the non-tree-harming side of electronic information, there's something better for the brain about reading words on a piece of paper than on a screen all day. Maybe for me it's connected to the physical activity of underlining and making notes in margins. I have no idea. But this screen-time is killing me. Slowly, silently. It's killing my brain.
It's reached the point now where I find the internet to be largely boring. Boring? The internet has everything on it. Want to know something? Curious about a country or a person or current events or nature? The internet has information that you can learn about all these things, and more. But now I find it boring, and I open new tabs and stare at my most visited pages in Chrome (Windows work PC, ugh) and can't think of a single thing that I want to know about. I'm over-saturated by internet material.
This calls for radical change. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but change is needed, and change there shall be. Mark my words!